Wednesday, September 8, 2010

God Is At Work - The Story of Ruth Part II - A "Chance" Meeting, Part 41 of 44

Find an example of hesed in Ruth 1:8-20.

IDEA: Hesed is a key word describing "loyal love."

PURPOSE: To help listeners appreciate that God displays loyal love toward His people.

Do you have a favorite word—biblical or otherwise?

The Bible has a "favorite word" that describes a special characteristic of God and of people who are faithful to Him. It is the term hesed.

I. The word hesed is usually translated "kindness" or "lovingkindness." It is one of the key theological concepts in the story of Ruth.

Hesed is difficult to translate because it stands for a cluster of ideas—love, mercy, grace, kindness. It wraps up in itself all the positive attributes of God.  Hesed is one of the Lord's most treasured characteristics.

Hesed is a quality that moves someone to act for the benefit of someone else without considering "what's in it for me?"

It may be translated as "loyal love." Sometimes the emphasis is on "loyal" and other times the emphasis is on "love."

II. Look at an example of hesed in Ruth 1:8-20:

There is a contrast between Orpah and Ruth in the opening of the story.

Did Orpah do anything wrong in going back to Moab?

Ruth demonstrates hesed = loyal love to Naomi that goes beyond the requirements of duty.